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Library services and COVID-19: Home

Key information

We are pleased to welcome University of Southampton staff and students to our libraries for studying and browsing. Study spaces and browsing slots must be prebooked and we have measures in place to keep you safe. 

Page last checked or updated: 01/06/21

The message "A face covering must be worn inside all University buildings at all times"Term time opening hours from Monday 12th April 2021:
  • Hartley Library: Monday - Friday 08:00-midnight; Saturday - Sunday 09:00-17:00
  • Health Services Library: Monday - Friday 08:00-18:00; Saturday - Sunday 11:00-15:00
  • Winchester School of Art Library: Monday - Friday 09:00-19:00; Saturday 10:00-16:00; Sunday closed
  • National Oceanographic Library: click and collect only 11:30-14:00 Tuesday and Thursday 
  • Avenue Library & Learning Commons: closed
Library Laptop Loans relaunch at Hartley and the Health Services Library (HSL) - new 7 day loan 

From 4th May 2021 you will be able to borrow a laptop for use in the library, around campus or at home for up to one week. Accessible reach laptops are available at both libraries. You will need your University username to use the Laptop Lockers in Hartley Library (Levels 2 and 4) and HSL. Chargers and bags can be issued as a separate loan from the Help Desk. By borrowing a laptop you are agreeing to the user declaration.  

Before taking the laptop off campus, login with your University ID and password whilst connecting to Soton wifi on campus.  

Laptops are non-renewable and need to be returned to the same library. Remember to plug the laptop into the cable in the locker to remove the loan from your account. Return your charger and laptop bag to the Help Desk. If you have an issue with returning your laptop contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk  

If there is an issue with the laptop and you are still on campus go to the Help Desk, if you at home report the issue to IT Help.   

See the Library’s Laptop Loans webpage for more details regarding this service.  

 

Using the Libraries

Studying in the Libraries:  Prebook a study space. Study spaces are two metres apart and cleaning materials will be provided. Prebooking ensures fair use and guarantees you a seat while we have reduced study space capacity with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Please note that face coverings must be worn at all times in the libraries. The computer workstation rooms within the libraries remain closed, but some bookable PCs will be available. For all of our libraries, if you are nearing the end of your booked time slot you can stay for longer if there are available spaces. Please make an additional booking so that we can monitor capacity.  

Study space across campus: find out the main areas available for independent study, including opening times, availability of PCs and if you need to book.

Browse & Borrow: Prebook a timeslot to select books from the shelves, then use the self-issue machine.

Postal loans: You can request books to be sent to you via our postal loans service.

Click & Collect: You can continue to use our Click & Collect service using the Place Hold option in our catalogue, WebCat, to reserve books from any of our libraries. When you have received the notification email, you can collect your books within 7 days any time the libraries are open, using the self issue machines to add the books to your library account. You can choose to collect your books from Hartley, the Health Service Library, or Winchester School of Art Library. You can still borrow books and DVDs from the Library & Learning Commons, but you will need to collect them from one of our other libraries. 

Book returns: You can return books to any of our libraries when they are open, or to the Hartley letterbox at any time. If you are in the UK you can use our free tracked postal returns service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our libraries are open to current University staff and students, and NHS Trust staff. All study space and browsing for books must be prebooked and the confirmation email shown on arrival. Alumni are welcome to use the Click & Collect service, but may not currently book study space/Browse & Borrow timeslots or access our online resources.

Study space and Browse & Borrow can be booked at https://library.soton.ac.uk/bookings

Please note that from 5th November 2020 face coverings must be worn at all times in the libraries.

Prebooked study spaces are available as shown on our bookings page. Prebooking ensures fair use and guarantees you a seat while we have reduced study space capacity with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

If you are nearing the end of your booked time slot you can stay for longer if there are available spaces. Please make an additional booking so that we can monitor capacity.

Please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk with any questions.

The Avenue Library & Learning Commons will remain closed. This decision was guided by the need to make additional short-term space available for teaching and learning, and difficulties ensuring the Library & Learning Commons would be COVID-secure for staff and students. Please use the Place Hold option in WebCat to request items for collection at Hartley.

Social distancing measures mean that our libraries have reduced capacity and we regret that we are unable to offer access to the libraries for members of the public, including sixth form students, external borrowers and SCONUL Access users. We will update this page when visitor access resumes.

Please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Social distancing measures mean that our libraries have reduced capacity and we regret that we are unable to offer access to the libraries for alumni, members of the public (including sixth form students), external borrowers and SCONUL Access users. We will update this page when visitor access resumes.

Alumni are welcome to use the Click & Collect service to borrow books.

You are welcome to bring hot and cold covered drinks to your prebooked study space. You may also eat cold food at your prebooked study space in Hartley and the Health Services Library.

The water bottle fillers on each level at Hartley Library are in use.

The Hartley Library microwaves are not available.

 

Click & Collect: collecting books without a booked timeslot

You can request books available in the libraries using the Place Hold option in WebCat: login to WebCat, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Place Hold (on the left of the screen). Books from the Avenue Library & Learning Commons and National Oceanographic Library can be collected from Hartley.

We will let you know by email when your book(s) are ready and you can collect them when the library is open. You must receive the confirmation email before you come to collect your books. Books must be collected within 7 days of the confirmation email being received. Please bring your University ID card to issue the books on the self-issue machines and remember that face coverings must be worn.

You will not have access to study space in the libraries, or to browse for books when using Click & Collect.

Browse & Borrow

Prebook a timeslot at Hartley or the Health Services Library to select books from the shelves, then use the self-issue machine to add them to your library account.

You will not have access to study space if you have a Browse & Borrow timeslot.

Postal loans

You can also request books to be sent to you via our postal loans service.

Requesting books

Please use the Place Hold option in WebCat to request books that are currently on loan to other users.

Requesting s digitised chapter or book extract

You can request a digitised chapter for your personal use using our document supply service.

Use our interlibrary loan service to request books, journal articles or other material that we do not have in our collections. Please email libenqs@soton.ac.uk to make book purchase suggestions.

Find out more about borrowing books on our Loans & Borrowing guide.

You can return books to any of our libraries when they are open, and to the Hartley letterbox at any time.

If you are in the UK you can use our free postal returns service.

We have a list of the main independent study spaces across campus, including opening times, availability of PCs and if the spaces need to be booked in advance.

The library group study rooms are not currently available because ventilation issues mean they cannot be made COVID-secure.

Your Subject Guide lists key resources, including databases to search for journal articles and WebCat, our library catalogue.

Our PressReader subscription gives you access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from the UK and around the world.

See our Using your online Library webpages.

The university uses the Eduroam wifi.

The computer workstation rooms in Hartley are not currently available.

Prebooked PCs are available at each library site using our booking form and many of the study spaces in the libraries have power sockets for you to charge laptops.

From 04/05/21, students can borrow a laptop for up to one week from the self-service Laptop Lockers in Hartley Library (Levels 2 and 4) and HSL. More details are available on the Library’s Laptop Loans webpage.

Printers (also known as Multi-Functional Devices, MFDs as they also scan and photocopy) are available in the Hartley Library and Health Services Library. We have an MFD in the Hartley Library foyer that you can use to print (black & white or colour) without needing to book. You can print from the PC next to the MFD or from your own device.

For more information on printing, including adding money to your account and the location of other MFDs on Highfield campus, please see the iSolutions printing for students page.

IT help is available from the iSolutions Serviceline team. Additionally, from Monday 15th March the IT Helpdesk returns to the Hartley Library 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. You do not need to book an appointment with the IT team, but if you are not already studying in the Library you will need to book a Browse & Borrow timeslot to enter the Library and visit the helpdesk.

Enabling Services provide support for students with disabilities, mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties.

The Assistive Technology (AT) Suite is the main area for assistive technology facilities within the University. It is located at Highfield Campus in Hartley Library (Level 2, Room 2047) and is available during normal library opening hours. Students who would like to access the AT Suite will need to make a booking in advance.

The Hartley Library lift is not currently available to students but we have bookable study spaces on the entrance level (level 2) for students who find using the stairs difficult. Please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions on accessing the library or library resources.

You will find support and advice on our Academic Skills pages covering useful study skills such as: critical thinking, academic integrity (referencing and avoiding plagiarism), information management, presentation skills, exam technique and research skills.

Appointments for writing support and general academic skills support.

The Avenue Library & Learning Commons will remain closed. This decision was guided by the need to make additional short-term space available for teaching and learning, and difficulties ensuring the Library & Learning Commons would be COVID-secure for staff and students. Academics, researchers and students will be able to access library resources via our digital library, including ebooks, journal articles, films and TV clips, current and historical newspapers and digitised items on reading lists. From the start of term, print Course Collection material held at Avenue will be available on a one week loan period from the Click & Collect service, with collection at Hartley.

You can request books via Click & Collect using the Place Hold option in WebCat: login to WebCat, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Place Hold (on the left of the screen).

You will not have access to study space in the libraries, or to browse for books when using Click & Collect.

Please contact us at libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions.

The Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books Searchroom service restarted from the week of 12 April 2021. The service will be open Tuesday-Thursday 10:00-15:00, by prior appointment only. Details on how to make an appointment are on our accessing the Archives page.
Please contact archives@soton.ac.uk with any questions.